WaPo poll: Don’t get cocky, GOP!

posted at 12:15 pm on June 8, 2010 by Ed Morrissey

The Washington Post/ABC poll supposedly serves as a dire warning to the GOP and to the Tea Party that they have already peaked.  It might be true, too, if Democrats work out a nine-point advantage in turnout in November.  That’s the partisan gap among registered voters in their sample, which to be fair, still improves on the ten-point advantage they gave Democrats in April.

Even with that, the poll warns Democrats more about the dangers of an anti-incumbent tide:

As voters head to the polls Tuesday for a crucial set of primary elections, a new Washington Post-ABC News poll finds antipathy toward their elected officials rising and anti-incumbent sentiment at an all-time high.

The national survey shows that 29 percent of Americans now say they are inclined to support their House representative in November, even lower than in 1994, when voters swept the Democrats out of power in the that chamber after 40 years in the majority.

The poll also finds growing disapproval of the “tea party” movement, with half the population now expressing an unfavorable impression of the loosely aligned protest campaign that has shaken up politics this year.

Now would be a good time to look at that sampling.  Despite numerous polls this year showing the partisan identification gap between Democrats and Republicans narrowing to its smallest number in at least five years, the Post’s sample shows 34% Democrats, 25% Republicans, and 38% independents among the registered voters in this survey of the general adult population.  To put that in perspective, Barack Obama won the presidential election in 2008 with a seven-point advantage in the national popular vote — in what was a big turnout year for Democrats.

In April, Gallup put the partisan gap down to a single point.  Take the eight point advantage away from Democrats, and that opinion of Tea Parties would undoubtedly shift back into positive territory.

That might also have some impact on Barack Obama’s approval rating, too.  They have it at 52/45, down from 54/44 two months ago.  That eight-point shift would more or less reverse Obama’s approval rating, putting him in roughly the same position as Gallup and Rasmussen, in the mid-40s or lower.  Even without the correction, Obama is seriously underwater on the federal deficit (39/56) and now on the oil spill (44/49).  Obama got his best rating in months on the economy, just as jobs have started to slide again, 50/49.

In leadership, Obama has taken some serious damage.  The numbers themselves look all right, with Obama getting a “strong leader” approval of 57/43 and “understands our problems” rating of 51/48.  However, both are significant drops from the March poll, which had him at 65/33 and 56/43, respectively, and both of those down from the January poll.

Democrats in Congress have big problems, too.  Given that eight-point head start, their 45/40 edge about which party has the right idea of the role and size of the federal government is small consolation.  Only 29% want to re-elect their incumbent Representative, down from 37% in February.  That’s a new low; even in 1994, that was 37% in the WaPo/ABC poll.  Given that there are a lot more Democrat incumbents, the indication is for a big turnover.


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It’s the start of summer, people are going places and not paying as much attention, and this number is still bad for the ‘rats. Wait until it gets closer to November and Americans are getting in gear for the elections.

Bishop on June 8, 2010 at 12:18 PM

cook da’ books!!!!

SDarchitect on June 8, 2010 at 12:20 PM

“Anyone who even slightly thinks of voting for an absolutely worthless, corrupt and incompetent Democrat is a complete idiot.”

How’s that campaign slogan grab ya?

Kinda wordy I know.

NoDonkey on June 8, 2010 at 12:23 PM

By voting the bums out, the Republicans will make big gains. We need a good cleansing. i just hope Dingy Harry gets washed away.

bopbottle on June 8, 2010 at 12:24 PM

I’m gonna vote and turn out as many Repubs as possible to vote and whatever else I can do!

Herb on June 8, 2010 at 12:29 PM

By voting the bums out, the Republicans will make big gains. We need a good cleansing. i just hope Dingy Harry gets washed away.

bopbottle on June 8, 2010 at 12:24 PM

If the Repubs win big in November I hope Obama is willing to work with them. If not, this depression is gonna linger on for a whole long time. And if that happens, the Repubs are gonna be the ones saddled with this mess come 2012.

Johnnyreb on June 8, 2010 at 12:31 PM

Herb on June 8, 2010 at 12:29 PM

If they aren’t going to the polls on their own, after this, they simply don’t care.

lorien1973 on June 8, 2010 at 12:32 PM

Well, don’t look at me. We’re doing our part here. We’re sending a Republican to the Senate in November come hell or high water.

NoLeftTurn on June 8, 2010 at 12:33 PM

Rand Paul effect, now Tea Party is branded as idiot paulnuts instead of having Rubio being the political face of the movement. Epic Fail.

They are just getting started in their framing too, MSNBC has a special coming out connecting the Tea Party to….Alex Jones, Paulnuts, stormfront, etc. and its something they can easily frame now with Rand winning a GOP primary.

jp on June 8, 2010 at 12:35 PM

I gotta wonder where they get these people?Strong leader 57%? I hope the dhimmis believe these numbers.

sandee on June 8, 2010 at 12:36 PM

Obama getting a “strong leader” approval of 57/43

Teh Won couldn’t lead a bathtub fart to the water’s surface.

GnuBreed on June 8, 2010 at 12:38 PM

Let’s see. WaPo, and ABC cheer lead for Obama, liberals, and the progressive agenda. So now I ask. Just how honest is this poll?

capejasmine on June 8, 2010 at 12:40 PM

This big of a sampling edge to Democrats makes this poll a total joke.

PappyD61 on June 8, 2010 at 12:40 PM

They are just getting started in their framing too, MSNBC has a special coming out connecting the Tea Party to….Alex Jones, Paulnuts, stormfront, etc. and its something they can easily frame now with Rand winning a GOP primary.

jp on June 8, 2010 at 12:35 PM

Won’t work. They tried that same thing here in CT back in 2006 after the Dem primary with Lieberman and Lamont, and no one bought it then. Constant 24/7 MSM saying Lamont will coast to an easy victory, the state is tired of Lieberman, Lamont is up by double digits in every poll, Lieberman is a warmonger, etc. Come election day, Lieberman blew him out of the water.

Johnnyreb on June 8, 2010 at 12:41 PM

The Wa-Po/ABC poll is a waste of time anddoesn’t warrant the slightest consderation, their weighting parameters are nothing more than trying skew public perception. The game that the MFM have been playing to great effect over the last 50 or so years. That game has about played itself out, the MFM are trying to go back to that well one too many times, the rash of “unexpected” economic reports regarding what was painfully obvious has shattered their credibility.

The MFM blatant obliviousness and/or willful obtuseness to who is responsible for any terroist attacks da jour further cuases americans to look upon their repoetswith a jaundiced eye.

Ras, PPP, Survey USA, CBS/WSJ are all fairly dependable, Gallup, Pew and Zogby are hit & miss, But Wa-Po/ABC?

Puh-leeze, quit wasting your talents Ed parsing the bilge they spew, its like disecting the meaning of “is”, a monumental exercise in futility.

Archimedes on June 8, 2010 at 12:44 PM

MSNBC has a special coming out connecting the Tea Party to….Alex Jones, Paulnuts, stormfront, etc. and its something they can easily frame now with Rand winning a GOP primary. jp on June 8, 2010 at 12:35 PM

All the people who care what MSNBC does could watch it on an I-Touch in a phone booth.

Are there still phone booths?

Akzed on June 8, 2010 at 12:47 PM

wapo just a wishin’ and a hopin’

cmsinaz on June 8, 2010 at 12:49 PM

If you give Obama all the (34%) of Democrats, he would still need nearly half the Indies to get to 52% approval. Where did they find this sample–Chicago?

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/generic_congressional_ballot

In totally unrelated news, yesterday’s Rasmussen poll showed Republicans leading the “generic Congressional ballot” by 44-35, including 42-18% among Independent voters.

The WaPo is right–the GOP shouldn’t get too cocky if 21% of likely voters, and 40% of Independent voters are still undecided.

Still, going into the 2008 election, Democrats led the Rasmussen “generic ballot” by 6 points, and picked up 25 House seats and 8 Senate seats. So if Republicans now lead the “generic ballot” by 9 points, what would be the logical results, especially without Obama’s coattails in the midterms?

Steve Z on June 8, 2010 at 12:50 PM

wapo/ABC just a wishin’ and a hopin’

cmsinaz on June 8, 2010 at 12:49 PM

Yep!

Jenfidel on June 8, 2010 at 12:50 PM

Unadulterated fantasy.

technopeasant on June 8, 2010 at 12:53 PM

My eternal question with these polls is, how many of the self-identified “independents” are disgruntled conservative former Republicans?

Part of the losses in 2006 and 2008 in party ID were conservatives who re-registered as independent or unaffiliated because the Bush administration and the GOP Congress betrayed the principles that Reagan defined as Republican.

This certainly means they did not move to the political middle.

These people are to the right of the DCGOP, but get lumped in with the Mort Kondrake crowd who are too smart and sophisticated to be “fooled” by any ideology.

In other words, how many of them are showing up at Tea Parties with Don’t Tread on Me flags?

Brian1972 on June 8, 2010 at 12:54 PM

One thing that the people have learned in the past year is that a conservative Demorat is an oxymoron. The “Bluedog” Demorats turned out to be back stabbing progressives when push came to shove on important issues. Even a liar like Sestak who ran against Obama on every issue will fold when it’s time to vote. I personally don’t understand how any independent could fall for this pack of liars and I don’t think they will. A last point, is that if you look at RCP polls you will see that Gallup and Rassmussen have been pretty consistent with their numbers that have Obama down in the low forties and the average is brought back up by the likes of WaPo/ABC and the other alphabet news polls which we all know are in the tank for the unicorn.

inspectorudy on June 8, 2010 at 12:59 PM

Still sayin’ Boehner is the guy for 2012…

Get yer T-Shirts now!

JetBoy on June 8, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Still sayin’ Boehner is the guy for 2012…

Get yer T-Shirts now!

JetBoy on June 8, 2010 at 1:01 PM

Yeah, for Speaker.
Ya know, the job he actually wants to have next year.

Brian1972 on June 8, 2010 at 1:03 PM

We’ll take the real poll in November…

d1carter on June 8, 2010 at 1:05 PM

I’m hopin’ for change.

faraway on June 8, 2010 at 1:09 PM

Don’t get cocky, GOP

Well, that’s always sound advice. However, as Ronald Reagan used to point out, the only poll that matters is the one taken on the first Tuesday of November.

oldleprechaun on June 8, 2010 at 1:15 PM

Conservatives have to stop paying attention to crap polls like WaPo. There are only four polling outfits worth a damn – Rasmussen, IBD/TIPP, Mason-Dixon, and Batteground. If it isn’t one of those four, it’s likely a crap poll. Ed’s point above merely illustrates one datapoint in a sea of bad polls.

SalAOR on June 8, 2010 at 1:21 PM

Yeah, GOP leadership better not go measuring the drapes. It’s WAY too early for that.

dczombie on June 8, 2010 at 1:29 PM

GIGO

novaculus on June 8, 2010 at 1:43 PM

If the oil spill has proved nothing else it’s that Obama can’t lose no matter what happens. The MFM will never turn on him.

I really believe that the worst thing that can happen now is for the Republicans to take back the House. It would be a disaster. Everything that goes wrong from then on will be the Republicans fault and 2012 will be a Democrat landslide.

The best case scenario would be for Republicans to take enough seats in the House and Senate to make another Healthcare debacle all that much harder, but not enough to get the majority.

Too many people are still too willing to give Obama more time, and if the Republicans take back control every failure will be blamed on them and most people will believe it is their fault.

You gotta remember, most people do not read conservative press or blogs. While it would be great to get rid of Nancy and Harry in November, any Republican who replaces them will be the lead story on every MFM outlet everytime some indicator goes South. No more “unexpected” outcomes from AP.

Jaynie59 on June 8, 2010 at 1:48 PM

The poll also finds growing disapproval of the “tea party” movement, with half the population now expressing an unfavorable impression of the loosely aligned protest campaign that has shaken up politics this year

Probably 80% of those who disapprove are Democrats. The rest are middle of the roaders who have been subjected to an unrelenting assault by the MSM wing of the Democrat party and finally caved to the bogus racism charges against the Tea Parties.

motionview on June 8, 2010 at 1:49 PM

The Gallup poll is on party affiliation,28/17/8/14/32, R/LeanR/Ind/LeanD/D.
Gallup converted is 28/39/32
Reichsmussen has 32/35/33.
The WaPo/ABC is 25/38/34.

motionview on June 8, 2010 at 2:06 PM

The left is in full attack mode. Big $$$$.

Their goal, purify the party, lose some bad Dem seats, Keep Majority.

In 2012 and on, the demographics will look better and better.

And they are smart enough to know that they can’t win on debating points…they have to go for the heart (or kneecaps)

Did I mention they have money?

r keller on June 8, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Hide the decline.

Spanky on June 8, 2010 at 2:47 PM

The GOP does need to be careful.

Limited government and reduced spending need to be the focus. The party needs to avoid the temptation to go after other issues that divide voters.

It’s the economy, stupid.

EconomicNeocon on June 8, 2010 at 2:50 PM

Who cares. It’s not about electing Republicans, it’s about electing conservatives. Sadly there is a difference.

jjraines on June 8, 2010 at 4:38 PM

Yeah. Come this November everyone’s gonna be all okay with more spending, no jobs, healthcare reform taxes, cap ‘n trade, immigration reform, Israel being picked apart, Iran with nukes, European economy collapsing, and some more oil spillage with high gas prices to boot. I can see it now. Democrats are gonna keep their majority and Obama is gonna get re-elected in a landslide everyone is SO happy with their efforts. Yep. Don’t get TOO cocky.

/sarc

Sultry Beauty on June 8, 2010 at 5:06 PM

As I have said before, and in agreement with Ann Coulter, these Republicans are fully capable of pulling defeat out of the jaws of victory. Sadly, I fully expect them to do so.

ultracon on June 8, 2010 at 6:26 PM

Rand Paul effect, now Tea Party is branded as idiot paulnuts instead of having Rubio being the political face of the movement. Epic Fail.

They are just getting started in their framing too, MSNBC has a special coming out connecting the Tea Party to….Alex Jones, Paulnuts, stormfront, etc. and its something they can easily frame now with Rand winning a GOP primary.

jp on June 8, 2010 at 12:35 PM

First of all Rand Paul isn’t the face of the movement, it’s not Rubio, it’s not Palin, it isn’t Brown either. They are faces within the movement, nothing more and nothing less. Don’t get tied down to one personality. These people are all human and have failings.

Secondly, while some Ron Paul followers are nuts, most just like his message on getting back to the Constitution. Maybe Ron and Rand aren’t the best spokesmen for the movement but they have some valid points we should listen to.

Last don’t worry about MSNBC and Chrissy having Hissy fits. They will lie but most people will see right through them.

jpmn on June 9, 2010 at 9:57 AM